Gethin Jones is ready to be a long-distant supporter as he backs the Whites to sustain their promotion push, writes Pete Oliver.
Jones signed off for Wanderers with another polished performance as he helped Ian Evatt’s men secure a second successive clean sheet in a 2-0 win at Fleetwood Town on Friday night.
That made it three wins on the bounce for Wanderers and second place in League One at the half-way stage of the season as Jones swaps club for country by flying out to play for Australia in the Asian Cup.
“We are delighted but nothing is achieved yet,” said the Wanderers’ vice-captain. “We've got a long way to go. We'll take it game by game and I'll be supporting the lads for the four to six weeks, or however long I’m away. I will be looking at the results and hoping that the boys keep getting them.
“I said to one or two of the boys that now I knew it was my last game for a while it was quite difficult. But I back the lads and I know they'll get the job done. It's a very tight squad and we are all very good mates. I will keep in contact with them and will watch the games.
“Two weeks ago, we went back-to-back losses and we were (feeling) down, but this week we've got three wins and we're back up there again. It's going to be tough but the lads are doing brilliantly and I back them. I'm looking forward to going away but I'm also looking forward to coming back.”
The Asian Cup competition runs from 12th January to the final on 10th February, with Australia drawn in a group in Qatar with India, Syria and Uzbekistan.
The 2015 winners will fancy their chances of progressing well into the knock-out phase and while Jones had mixed feeling about missing out on the next phase of Wanderers’ campaign - starting at home to Burton Albion on New Year's Day - the 28-year-old defender is excited at the prospect of a first taste of international football.
“I'm looking forward to it,” added Perth-born Jones, who has been capped at up to U21 level by Wales. “It’s obviously difficult to leave for a long period as well because we are fighting for something massive here this season.
“It was a difficult conversation with the manager but at the end of the day it's a massive opportunity for me to go and represent my country.
“It's always been something on my mind ever since I was a young boy - playing for either Wales or Australia, my country of birth. My family loved it there and I loved it when I lived there, so I was made-up to get the call up and go and represent this club on this stage.”
Watch Geth's post-match interview from Fleetwood on Wanderers TV HERE